Sunday, August 7, 2011

Speak up......for God's sake!

The other day I was on the bus and the system to signal the driver to stop wasn't working.  It was interesting to see.  People just kept wordlessly pushing the yellow strips and waiting for the bell to chime.  The driver, not knowing they wanted to get off at the next stop, kept driving.  Occasionally someone would yell out in outrage, as if the driver was deliberately ignoring their request.  Most stood like startled emus gazing about until the driver would either figure it out or someone would actually speak up and ask them to stop. How hard is it to say, "Next stop, please."?

I have never understood people's unwillingness to speak up in public situations.  I have suffered because of this weird social fear of saying something to someone they don't know.  In Chicago I once got off the train and didn't realize my skirt had hiked up, caught in my pantyhose and I was walking around with my butt fully exposed.  This was not just for a couple of minutes.  I went into several stores, browsed and was walking to work.  Eight blocks.  I passed dozens of people.  No one said a word until I was almost at work and a cop pulled up beside me to bellow, "Lady!  Your ASS is hanging out!"  And indeed it was.  This was a good 45 minutes after I got off the train.  No one else had noticed?  

There are times to speak up.  Exposed ass and the bus whipping past your stop are two of those times.  It's not like the driver was requiring people to yell out "BING!!" in imitations of the broken bell.  Which actually would have been pretty funny and I gleefully would have done it.  Common sense...sometimes as unpleasant as the thought is you just have to talk to people you don't know.

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